A trick that spammers often use is inline images that are loaded from a remote server. Whenever your email client loads this message with inline images from a remote server, it reports that the email address is valid, and the spammers knows they can send more messages effectively.
Fortunately, in iOS 8, there's a new feature that lets you disable remotely loaded images in email messages. By adjusting this setting, you can keep email from remotely loading content that could expose your email address as real to spammers.
To disable inline remotely loaded images, perform the following steps:
- Open Settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Tap the Mail | Contacts | Calendar option
- Locate the option for Load Remote Images (Figure A), and turn the slider off
Disabling Load Remote Images is a great way to increase the likelihood of being recognized by spammers as a real address.
After disabling this feature, whenever you encounter an HTML email that contains inline images, they'll no longer be loaded. Instead, you'll see placeholders where the images would be if they were loaded from the server.
After the message loads in Mail, and you see if you trust the sender, you can optionally load the remote images at that point. To do this, open the message you wish to view the images for, then scroll to the bottom of the message.
At the bottom of the email, you'll see a button labeled Load All Images (Figure B). Tapping this button will reload the email, and in the process, it will request the missing remote image to be loaded in.
Tapping the Load All Images button will reload the message with the missing images.
After you've done this, you'll be more protected from spammers on iOS than before. In addition, this can help relieve data cap issues related to loading lots of remote images on your cellular data plan. You can view the messages without the extra data heft of also loading the images.
Do you load images in your email messages? Tell us about your experience in the discussion thread below.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.